Thursday, April 28, 2011

Conservatives drifting from majority

Three new national polls from EKOS, Nanos, and Forum have been added to the model, along with five new riding polls conducted in Quebec. The result is another gain for the New Democrats, mostly at the expense of the Conservative Party.
The Conservatives are now down 0.3 points to 36.9% nationally, and have dropped three seats to only 143. That is where they stood when the election began, but in practice it is even lower as two safe Conservative seats were vacant at the dissolution of the House of Commons.

The Liberals are down 0.4 points to 25.4% and one seat to 74. The New Democrats are up 0.9 points to 22.9% and four seats to 47, moving them into third position in the projection. More seats are on the way for the NDP, though.

The Bloc Québécois is down to 7.5% nationally but is steady at 43 seats, a number they will not hold on to for many more days. The Greens are unchanged at 6%.

The problems facing the Conservatives are clear in the regional breakdown. While they are holding steady in the two westernmost provinces, they are down big in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada, and are losing ground in Ontario and Quebec.

The Liberals are also in trouble, with big drops in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. They are holding steady in Atlantic Canada but that is little consolation. The party would be losing many seats in Ontario if the Conservatives weren't on the decline in the province as well.

For the Bloc, they are down again to 31.4% and will continue to drop like a stone. They are reaching the point in the projection where they will begin to lose seats in bunches, primarily to the NDP.

The New Democrats, meanwhile, continue to gain everywhere, up about a point in every part of the country except British Columbia. They made another giant leap forward in Quebec and are now trailing the Bloc by only four points.

Six seats changed hands, all in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The New Democrats picked up Brossard - La Prairie and Saint-Lambert in Quebec, the first from the Liberals and the second from the Bloc. Hoang Mai and Sadia Groguhé are now the respective favourites.

The Bloc has retaken Haute-Gaspésie - La Mitis - Matane - Matapédia from the Liberals, thanks in large part to a riding poll added to the model which had Jean-François Fortin of the Bloc in the lead.

In Nova Scotia, the New Democrats have taken two seats from the Conservatives: Central Nova and South Shore - St. Margaret's. David Parker is the new favourite in Peter MacKay's seat, while former NDP MP Gordon Earle is the favourite in South Shore - St. Margaret's.

The Liberals have also regained a seat themsevles, taking Random - Burin - St. George's back from the Tories in Newfoundland & Labrador.

The New Democrats are still moving forward in the projection and will undoubtedly take second spot in the popular vote projecton before May 2nd. Seats in which the NDP trails by five points or less in the projection include:

Surrey North (CPC), Vancouver Island North (CPC), Saskatoon - Rosetown - Biggar (CPC), Brome - Missisquoi (BQ), Châteauguay - Saint-Constant (BQ), Laurier - Sainte-Marie (BQ), Laval (BQ), Laval - Les Îles (LPC), Notre-Dame-de-Grâce - Lachine (LPC), Dartmouth - Cole Harbour (LPC), St. John's South - Mount Pearl (LPC), Nunavut (CPC).

If the NDP took all of these seats they would have 59 in the projection. All else being equal, the Conservatives would be reduced to 139, the Liberals to 70, and the Bloc Québécois to 39.

Note that of the 11 ridings listed as being within five points for the New Democrats yesterday, the NDP captured four of them, and another five were added to the list today.


  1. What a shift. The Liberals will be looking for a new leader after this, and perhaps the Bloc as well. Harper will probably hang on for a bit longer, though.

    I noticed the Green released poll for Saanich—Gulf Islands didn't move the meter much. Not much weight to that, Éric?

  2. No, polls conducted for parties are given a 10% weight (with 90% being the rest of the model). Riding polls commissioned by the media are given 25% weighting.

  3. Bonjour M. Grenier,
    Je ne comprends pas votre système de pointage. Ça fait 4 ou 5 sondages qui placent le NPD en tête au Québec et second au Canada mais vos prédictions sont plus similaires à la mi-avril. Est-ce que nous approchons à un point de bascule imminent? Est-ce que les sondages sont selon vous trop avantageux pour le NPD? J'ai simplement peine à croire que tous ces sondages sont dans l'erreur.
    Merci pour votre excellent site.

  4. Why has the level of undecideds gone up from 8.5 to nearly 16 in the last few days? Or am I missing something?

  5. Eric...I know all about your methodology and how it "just isn't designed to react" to these current trends...

    But having the BQ still up at 43 seats? Really?

  6. I think the model is optimistic for NDP chances in NS, particularly Central Nova. The unpopularity of the provincial NDP government and the popularity of Peter MacKay likely puts that riding out of reach. West Nova is more likely to flip to Liberal than Central Nova to NDP. South Shore-St Margaret's, however, should be on the money. I'll gladly eat my monitor if I turn out to be wrong about Central Nova; as a Nova Scotian I'd like to see the end of Peter MacKay.

  7. The Liberals are in big , big trouble, but the question is can all this NDP support turn into seats ??

  8. Are you sure about Central Nova? I grew up there, and it's very, VERY blue. What is the margin of error, etc.? I will be very surprised if that seat doesn't go to the CPC.

  9. Eric Plante,

    Ce n'est pas que les sondages sont en erreur, c'est que mon modèle ne bouge pas rapidement.


    It's mostly because of which pollsters were in the field on those days. EKOS has undecideds usually around 8% to 9%, while Nanos has it around 15%.


    That's what the model spits out. It will go down between now and May 2nd.

    The Rational Number,

    You could be right, but this is the result the model gives based on the NDP's past performance in the riding. They were at 33% there in 2006.

  10. Hi Eric
    Do you have a link for the riding poll you mentioned for Haute-Gaspésie - La Mitis - Matane - Matapédia?
    The only one I was aware of is from a few weeks ago.


  11. There is 4 days before the election .

    On Oct 10, 2008 4days before the 2008 election Nanos released his Oct 09 poll results

    CPC 33 Liberal 27 NDP 22

    This election with the same amount of time to go

    CPC 36.6 NDP 30.2 Liberal 21.9

    last election at this time Nanos had the Liberals .8 higher than the 26.2 they got election day, The NDP 3.8 higher than election day and the CPC a whooping 4.5 lower than they got election day.

    If Nanos is as accurate as he was last time this would mean at election night it will be

    CPC 41.1 NDP 26.8 and liberal 21.1

  12. Anonymous 09:05,

    I'll have a link this afternoon, but we are likely talking about the same riding poll. It's old and the NDP is likely doing better, but the Liberals certainly shouldn't be.

  13. Harper's survival ought to depend entirely on whether he can actually form a government after 2 May and win a confidence vote. The latter in particular is starting to look increasingly unlikely, unless the Liberals decide to self-annihilate now by backing a Harper minority rather than in three years after having backed an NDP government. However, Harper does seem to have his party well and truly under control, so I guess the decision will be his to make.

    - GL

  14. I love the site and applaud your good and interesting work here, but I think the model may prove to be wrong. Basing the predictions on the parameters from the 2008 election may not be a valid starting point, if this election has a strong anti-incumbency/protest vote element to it, as well as a large number of new and/or re-engaged voters. This dynamic was largely absent from the 2008 election.

    Regardless, this election shall be studied for years to come!

  15. what are the five riding polls in Quebec you refer to?

    BTW: Central Nova is not as "blue" as people think. The NDP came within 5% of beating McKay in the 2006 election and all four provincial seats within Central Nova are NDP.

  16. Is everybody prepared for PM Jack Layton ??

  17. Ontario Dipper

    As I suggested yesterday, the Nanos poll had failed to pick up the Orange Crush seeping into Ontario due to the Easter lag. Nanos is catching up today showing a 5% jump in NDP support in Ontario to 26%, historically very high for them.

    This will put a number of Liberal seats in the 416 are into play, including High Park, Davenport, and Beaches East York. Conservatives now need to worry about losing Oshawa, Essex and Kenora. If the trend continues, and I have no reason to believe it won't, another 20 seats, both Lib and Con may fall.

  18. Maxime Grondin28 April, 2011 09:21

    Even Gilles Duceppe in Laurier Sainte-Marie is in danger......but whatever he is reelected or not..I think it will be the end for will be interesting on monday!

    Is it last election for Ignatieff and Harper at the head of their parties? No one knows....

  19. @ anonymous, 9:13

    Ontario Dipper

    The chances of Ignatieff propping up a Conservative minority are not that far fetched. People have this idea that the Liberals are a progressive party, and while many who voted historically for the Liberals are indeed progressives, the current and recent past leadership of the Liberal Party are anything but.

  20. I'm confused, all polls are saying something different this morning

    CPC: 131 seats
    NDP: 92 seats
    LPC: 63 seats
    BQ: 21 seats

    Laurier Institute is Saying:
    CPC 147
    LPC 60
    NDP 69
    Bloc 32

  21. Hey Eric,
    Your Labrador riding prediction is unfortunately way off. The CPC candidate is a superstar candidate, one they have been courting for years. There's a lot of worried people at Todd Russell's campaign office (having spent time there myself) and internal polls show it is very close.

  22. No question -- I just wanted to thank you for your hard work in this. It's very much appreciated. -NV

  23. @BC Voice of Reason

    And in 2006 they were almost dead on. If Nanos managed to correct the issues they had in 2008, we could be seeing the rough popular vote split right now.

  24. I wonder what percentage the NDP would need to create the ultimate Harper nightmare. Namely that the public gives him what he asked for - a majority government - but to the NDP instead.

    I figure if the NDP & Liberals have more seats than the Conservatives that Harper will be toast. I have heard locally that Michael Chong will consider running for the leadership if Harper goes which would be interesting given he is clearly PC not Reform.

  25. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Do Canadians realize what they are voting for??? Is this really how misinformed the public is on politics??? I still think all this NDP hype is mostly media created hype and I think a lot people will have some sort of realization on voting day (at least I hope) but people seriously want to see the FEDERAL government run by JACK LAYTON and the NDP?!

    I swear if one Canadian that voted for the NDP complains about higher taxes or big government, I am going to put my head through the monitor. I really feel like people are not actually looking at policy and just follow media created hype like drones. Has anyone looked at the NDP platform, it doesn't make any sense, where is all that money coming from?

    Either you have media that hates the Cons and will go against them or you have media that hates the Libs and will go against them. There is no coverage of the NDP's actual policy or issues. Has anyone seriously analyzed why the NDP is getting support in Quebec, do they realize what kind of promises Layton is making to Quebec to get votes? No, of course not - I trust Canadians - they can vote a Lib or Con government but an NDP government in this type of fragile economy?? Bob Rae's Ontario government anyone??

  26. Seems the people are decided who they want to lead the country once the CPC once again show they are not prepared to work with the other parties. Once iggy clarified how it might work people decided to trust Jack over him.
    Harpers fear tactics only pushed people to embrace the idea more. The real question will be, if the NDP polls turn into seats could they convince the LPC to swallow their pride and let Jack run the show? I don't see it happening as the LPC aren't used to third place.
    I hope Iggy stays on as I think he is a great leader but needs time to find his groove in politics. If Harper could convince people he can lead then certainly Iggy just needs more time (and perhaps the CPC targetting Jack will give them the breathing room they need to get him prepped.
    So long as the CPC doesn't get a majority I will be happy with either Jack or Iggy in Opposition and hopfully at the helm next election.

  27. Hmm.. if I look at the regionals under Federal Polling trends on the right it shows the CPCs on the uptick in BC and Ontario with very healthy leads in each.. steady in the prairies and up a touch in Atlantic Canada.. with the NDP even down a tick in Atlantic Canada. To me it looks like the Quebec numbers are screwing up the national average and if you take it out, the CPCs are in majority territory. Which would explain why the CPCs aren't panicking. They look good in all the non-Quebec battleground provinces. How you get the riding projections I have no idea so I could be very much wrong.

  28. I find it hard to believe your model isn't swinging any ridings to the Conservatives where the NDP increase gives them a win aka Guelph, Kingston, etc. etc. There are lots of these ridings.

  29. Not to even mention the fact some of the NDP candidates are on vacation during the election?! And Layton's excuse is some how that its all Harper's fault because he promised fixed date elections?! He forced the election and his candidates can't cancel their vacations?! He poked fun at Iggy for not showing up for the job - "you need to show up if you want a promotion". Well don't you need to show up to get elected? The media was all over Con candidates for not showing up to debates, two of the NDP candidates are not even in the country!

    And I see very little coverage of this, it should be a headline on the main page of every paper like it would be if it was a Con or Lib. This coverage is like the Obama coverage during the Obama-Hillary stuff for Dem leader.

    Vote for who you want, absolutely, but please look at the parties policies and the consequences of those policies - don't vote solely based on media coverage and polls.

  30. John Northey

    "I figure if the NDP & Liberals have more seats than the Conservatives that Harper will be toast."

    I think that is absolutely correct although I suspect that it is simpler than that scenario. I'd say No Majority and Harpo is toast !!

  31. Re: Bob Rae's Ontario government anyone??

    Please look at the conditions around when rae was in. Ironically his downfall was making the public service earn less, which seems to be a big issue for Conservatives so not sure why there were unhappy (since they talk a lot about it but do nothing except target their ideologiocal 'enemies' in the PS).
    I agree that their policies need some investigation but seeing as the CPC came in wanting to de-regulate banks and offer up 40-year no money down mortgages, key factors in the US bust, and then spend billions on jails and adding 4000 more public servants aka correctional officers (stong unions andd high wages/benefits) and don't seem to want to admit the jets will run well over their is this any better than jacks ideas of spending on people. The CPC 'plan', like the NDPs is based on finding 'savings', in the billions, somewhere but not saying where.
    If you are willing to swallow the Harpers BS then don't be shocked if others believe Jack's.

  32. @ Anonymous

    If you look at the Laurier Institute projections, its based on polling from April 22-26. It too is uses a swing model which will have issues adjusting quickly to a surge.

    I am enjoying the various prediction discussions. Unfortunately, the discussions are denigrated a bit as partisan people are jumping on whichever sets of data helps them feel better and hopefully change the tide.

    I look forward to sitting down @ 10 pm eastern and watching the real fun begin. Going to be an interesting night.

  33. I see the NDP advance in Westmount-Ville-Marie, but the color in the column is still red... Shouldn't it be orange?

  34. Eric, thanks again for all the hard work you are putting into the site. I am going to be very interested to see the final projection on Sunday, as well as the projection based on only the last week of polls. It should be extremely interesting.

  35. My god. Laurier-Sainte-Marie is in play? Really? I want to believe!

    Maybe it's time to do a minimum-maximum scenario for the Bloc, to see just how desperate the Bloc's situation is. High bloquiste turnout and low Dipper turnout will help the Bloc, but it's not clear to me by how much. If Gilles Duceppe's own seat is in play, that speaks for itself.

    Richard Slater (anonymous only because blogspot is giving me trouble)

  36. BT

    Why would you think that Nanos corrected their bias/inaccuracy from 2006?

    It has become incredibly more difficult to get a representative sample;

    Voip, Cell phones, unlisted numbers, caller display are all increasing exponentially.

    The public pollsters are all opinionated analysts who are getting paid to entertain us and drive people to their TV shows , newspapers and websites to increase the advertising revenue the media can charge.

    Their success is not based on the accuracy of their polls. It is based on the popularity, entertainment (and controversy) they can generate.

    I would imagine that the successful, more accurate pollsters, would be getting much larger fees from the political parties.

    The riding polls are far more valuable than these national polls.

    The complexity of taking a sample of Atlantic Canada with a huge MOE and then try to use that to predict what is going on a NL riding (without a ABC campaign) is overwhelming.

    For example the EKOS poll that was taken Nov 30 had the
    national numbers at cpc 33.7 liberal 29.2,
    Ontario number at cpc 35 liberal 34.4
    Toronto numbers liberal 37.9 cpc 36.9

    Based on this poll there was no way that the CPC would win the Vaughn November 29 by-election that the Liberals had won by 15%.

    In Man/Sk the NDP had a 18.9 to 15.3 edge in the poll and a 43% win in the last election. Yet the Liberals won that seat.

    The riding polls that the political parties had have provided a far more accurate assessment of the situation rather than the EKOS "entertainment" poll

    Only using EKOS as it was the only poll done within 2 weeks of the by-elections.

  37. Tom (Go Canucks)28 April, 2011 10:46

    For me the best result that this election could produce would have the NDP gaining enough seats in Quebec to put a Liberal or NDP coalition into a majority without depending on the support of the Bloc.
    It is time for all parties in parliament to start working together again. It is also time to seriously reflect on the deficiencies of our parliamentary system and make some concerted effort to fix it. Too many people of all political stripes feel disenfranchized.

  38. Eric, thanks for the excellent analysis.

    I'm curious what you used as a baseline for Central Nova, given that 2008 had May as the Green candidate and no Liberal. Did you start with 2006 results? I suspect your analysis may be correct given past strength of the NDP, just curious how you accounted for 2008.

  39. The potential of the NDP having power in BC has forced the Liberals and Conservatives to unite under the Liberal banner.

    I could not imagine voting for anyone except a Liberal in BC. Once the BC Federal liberals see that the NDP might actually get into power they will have to consider switching their vote from Liberal to CPC to stop the NDP.

    This is not some sort of abstract left of centre coalition concept. This is something that has been used effectively in BC for a decade.

    The Liberals and CPC traditionally have a lot more in common than the Liberals and NDP.... except this year when the Liberals for political reasons were trying to unite the left.

  40. @BC Voice of Reason 9:06

    Don't forget that in the last four days of the 2008 campaign we had the bungled question from Dion that played all over the airwaves. This was hard for any pollster to capture in the short amount of time it was in play, and could have accounted for the discrepancy. It does not appear that this will be the case in the last four days this time.

  41. "If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion."

    Gotta say Eric so far that isn't really working !!

  42. JamieH,

    I adjusted the 2006 results in the riding according to how the parties shifted in the 2008 election, and then used that as the baseline.

  43. re: Anonymous 10:00

    "Either you have media that hates the Cons and will go against them or you have media that hates the Libs and will go against them. There is no coverage of the NDP's actual policy or issues"

    Really? The Globe and Mail just endorsed Harper (not to mention the obviously right-leaning National Post).

    As for coverage of NDP policies and their support in Quebec, open your eyes:

    "Reality check: The NDP crackdown on tax havens"

    "VIDEO: Costing out the NDP platform"

    "Will Layton raise your mortgage payments?"

    "One on one with Jack Layton: clarity, Quebec and the Constitution"

    "Does NDP pose more
    of a threat to national unity than the Bloc?"

    "Layton’s leftist nationalism wins hearts and minds in Quebec"

    "The man behind the smile: Getting to know Jack Layton"

    "Jack Layton’s risky potential MPs in Quebec"

    "NDP platform not far from competitors’"

    And these are only articles published in the last 2 days!

  44. @Anonymous 10:00

    The NDP is getting strong in Québec because:

    1- Other parties don't inspire

    People are tired of the Bloc, don't trust the Liberals and most hate the Conservatives which positions clash with what Québec wants and which scandals have been publicized in the media a lot, unlike what I see from English-Canadian media that ignores most of them.

    2- Jack Layton is sympathetic and down-to-earth

    People in Québec like that kind of political leader and distrust the kind of leader Harper is. What may seem to other Canadians as a competent, strong leader may seem more like cold, aloof and arrogant for many in Québec.

    3- The NDP, on issues, is similar to the Bloc and Liberals, the two parties that have competed for the votes of Québec in the past 20 years

    This didn't lead people to the NDP in my opinion, but it made the NDP more resistant to being blasted to pieces by the Bloc and Liberals on issues, because it would require these two parties to blast their own policies. Between the Bloc and the NDP, the step is small issue-wise, and not much bigger between the Libs and the NDP.

    I can assure you that the NDP has not promised concretely anything to Québec. At most, they mentioned asymmetrical federalism and they said they might be willing to have constitutional talks if, and only if, the "winning conditions" were there, meaning only if Canadians and Québécois were ready for it. In fact, the Bloc has been trying to find a chink in the NDP's armor there, by attacking the vagueness or lack of promises by the NDP towards Québec in particular. So far, they haven't gotten a clear shot in.

    As to the NDP platform, there could have been a weakness there. I personally support the NDP, but I think the platform is a bit ambitious, however, I prefer a party that is honest about what it wants to do, even if it may not achieve all of it, than a party who hides what its vision for the country is. I said "could have been a weakness" because, as you might have noticed, the Conservatives have done all they could to shift the attention of the public not towards issues but towards leadership and trust. They have at least succeeded in that, so that most issues have been conspicuously absent from most of the campaign. It's too late now to shift the debate towards issues that have been mostly ignored during four weeks.

    That said, I'm not scared of an NDP government, because they would have to seek experienced members to rule and they would get these people from the Saskatchewan, BC and Manitoba NDP sections mainly, the NDP in these provinces haven't been spendthrift. They're more likely to raise taxes, but quite frankly taxes on the people they want to tax (the more well off, the big corporations, big polluters, etc...) have fallen significantly for years, them paying their fair share is actually good in my mind.

  45. It appears that last night's Ontario sample for Nanos had the Conservatives 3rd

  46. La Presse reports that Tories privately concede that Cannon will lose to the NDP in Pontiac and that they will also lose Beauport-Limoilou and Jonquiere-Alma to the NDP - and maybe more.

  47. Peter and everyone else thinks Harper will resign or be pushed out.

    Here it a lot in the media too. Wishful thinking!

    Its simply not going to happen under any circumstances.

    The CPC base gets to decide if Harper goes and we won't lose him !

    If an opposition coalition takes over he'll just need to wait a year or two for it to collapse and then sweep back to power with a strong majority mandate.

  48. Too many scenarios are possible to discuss, but the most likely at this point seems to be:

    Conservatives... biggest party
    Dippers... 2nd biggest party, semi close to the Tories numerically
    Grits a distant 3rd.....
    Bloc... a Quebec Rump.....

    If Conservatives > Dippers + Grits, then this gives the Bloq rump, effectively, the balance of power, but they can prop up the Tories by abstaining, rather than actually voting for things... I suspect they might do that on the "confidence votes" to give themselves some time to reqroup and rebuild.

    If Dippers + Grits > Tories, then the Grits have a huge pickle.... If they prop up Prime Minister Jack Layton (!!!!) and Layton does well, the next election the Grits get destroyed as the successful "orange wave" finishes the sweep from the left... If Layton screws up the Grits get destroyed as the Tory tide washes back the other way..... Personally I could be happy with either scenario :)

    Tueday morning may well be the most interesting day in Canadian politics for a very, very, very long time! - it's fun to watch!

    The Vorlon

  49. Chantel Hebert has now said there's the possibility that the right side of the Liberal Party, the Manley Liberals will vote Conservative to stop the NDP. She was one of the first people to say the NDP were challenging the Libs for Loyal Opposition status.

    I see this as being a distinct possibility. How will John Manley and Brian Tobin be voting on Monday? It may be Conservative.

    If you are a fiscal conservative Liberal voter, you switch to the NDP to stop the Orange Crush. We'll see, but I think the Libs are about to collapse further.

  50. Dl
    I don't think the Cons concede any defeat of a cabinet minister. They may be rallying the troops and bringing in the cavalry to certain ridings, conceding defeat, unlikely.

    Besides, they are trying to get the right leaning Liberal vote to run scared from the NDP and vote Liberal, which is more and more likely each day.

    Now that Hockey is over in Quebec, we'll see if some of the numbers shift.

  51. I have a bit of a tough time believing that your model, regardless of what it suggests, could be right about a riding like Central Nova. Peter MacKay could win Central Nova if he left a cardboard cutout of himself sitting at a desk in an otherwise empty campaign office.

    Also, how do you distinguish yourself from other similar websites that claim a high rate of success (like DemocraticSpace)? Their numbers are very different.

    I enjoy reading your site very much. I'm just curious as to how you defend your model on both of the above points.

  52. @anonamous 10:08


    "The real question will be, if the NDP polls turn into seats could they convince the LPC to swallow their pride and let Jack run the show? I don't see it happening as the LPC aren't used to third place"


    The Grits will NEVER prop up Prime Minister Layton... It's an existential matter, the Grits will cut off their arms, and burn their house down first.

    If they prop up a PM Layton and he does well, next election a poplar Layton/NDP will finsih the sweep from the left and the Grits go the way of the PC's and get absorbed and disappear....

    If they prop up a PM Layton and the NDP does a Bob Rae and trashes the economy (likely IMHO) the Grits get buried from the right as the Tory tide sweeps back the other way.

    People are looking at this logically, but the Grits have no policy, no morality, no principles of any kind other than grabbing, holding, and using power. - The narrow interests of the Grits are not served by propping up Layton, so it won't happen.

  53. Noob Goldberg

    Jack Layton just said "when I am Prime Minister"

    That is a bigger flub than Dion forgetting how to speak in English.

    Canadians have about 5 days to get their head around Jack Layton actually being PM of Canada.

    That in itself is the largest concept that the electorate has to get their head around in the last week of any recent election.

    Jack Layton as PM is a bigger step than Harper as a Majority.

  54. Hello Eric,

    What are you using to generate the numbers in Edmonton-Strathcona? By all accounts it seems like a tight race, but your riding projects has the NDP running away with it at a greater distance each day.

    I'm not criticizing, I'm just curious.


  55. The rightwing Liberals went over the Tories a long time ago. Take a look at Ekos, when they ask people who their second choice is - what's left of Liberal supporters have the NDP as their second choice over the Tories by about a 4 to 1 margin!

  56. Gar Y

    It is getting interesting. I think NDP have peaked and may slide back a bit - sort of the same pull back as thoughts of a Harper majority provoke and with good reason given some of the NDP's running- I really feel sorry for the one on vacation- I hope he or she makes it back in time for their acceptance speech.

    In the end this will sort of look like the beginning but with the Liberals and NDP switched. So Con 37-39, NDP 27-28, Liberal 20-21. Probably a Con Minority (equal opportunity humor) but with an inefficient NDP popularity gain (Quebec)and an efficient Liberal popularity loss (Ontario). With all these heady days for the NDP there should be no ABC at last moment and this could give Harper his best chance at a majority.

    Re Central Nova Scotia, dreaming in spades. That is right they are NDP provincial seats but only because they fell for Dexter's rather brillant "I am a Conservative Progressive" pitch. Something Layton should have and might have studied. However, from what I hear from family in Nova Scotia trust me it won't work again.

    Great sight and that is not a spelling error.

  57. Alright everybody has to calm down about a potential NDP government. All the haters bring up Bob Rae in Ontario but conveniently forget the more recent examples of excellent management of Manitoba and Saskatchewan by Doer and Romanow/Calvert. Even Dexter who is a bit unpopular seems to be managing Nova Scotia well financially, he had the largest budget surplus ever for the province, half a billion dollars. That isnt much anywhere else in Canada but that is huge out East, as we in New Brunswick are half a billion dollars the wrong way. The previous (Progressive) Conservative government added almost 3 billion dollars to the debt over its 10 years, and that was during much better economic times when they had the means to pay down the debt. People complain about tax hikes and of course that is true but the government is basically giving tax rebates to the poorest citizens to cover them from paying the tax which is certainly better than giving them to the top 10 percent of income earners. We could find numerous examples of good and bad Liberal and Conservative governments, the point is the NDP shouldnt be dismissed by the masses as a potential government, since they arent any worse than any other party at governing the provinces.

  58. Chris,

    I am just using the provincial trends, which are very favourable for the NDP in Alberta. They're now in second.

  59. Anon @ 11:09,

    You can go on any website and pick out articles and point out whatever. That's not my point, the point I was making was they don't get hammered on things and don't get the headlines like the Libs or Cons. Watch any national news program, they jump on Layton like he's god. How is there not bigger coverage of the fact that NDP candidates are on VACATION - they want to be elected as a government and can't cancel their vacation? The Quebec issue, you can hide behind the term "winning conditions" but look at what he said during the English debate about Quebec, that was really out there.

    Anon @ 11:10

    Yes, its possible that Layton suddenly is 'Obama-ish" after a third try and his charm has overtaken Quebec. Yes, its possible suddenly people have seen the light - OR its more likely that he's throwing out promises that he can't keep that people latch on to. This is a guy who lived in public housing for years even though he was making $100,000's of dollars. This a guy that used private healthcare even though he's pushing public hearthcare. I'm sure even Harper doesn't use private healthcare.

    @ Anon 11:53

    Yes, the NDP COULD govern effectively. However just alone the reaction of the international markets and the TSX to news of an NDP government would cripple Canada. I love this whole "tax the rich, everything will be fixed stuff". It doesn't work. How much tax revenues would you have to raise from taxing the top 10% in order to fund things like Layton's plans? How is capping interest rates on credit cards going to help? You need the banks, look at how many jobs they supply, look at the fact that Canadian banks are the best in the WORLD and didn't collapse during the economy (thank you Paul Martin), you really want to start to chip away at their profits to fund social programs? I'm not saying its impossible but based on their platform it is IMPOSSIBLE. All I'm saying is people should vote based on policy and platform or whatever, not simply because it seems like a good idea - communism sounds great on paper too.

  60. I find it funny how right wingers think of Layton as PM as a negative. What is funny is when I talk to people who aren't normally engaged in politics they tend to go 'yeah, that'd be OK' or 'wow, that could happen? That'd teach the Liberals/Conservatives a lesson!'.

    Me? I'm a former Conservative now Green who finds most policies of the NDP scary (Greens are far more right than left when it comes to economics) but I do find it funny how people are scared the country will collapse if we have PM Layton on Tuesday. Ontario survived Rae and Harris (many felt either one or the other was the devil and would destroy Ontario forever) and Canada has survived Harper and will survive whoever comes in next.

  61. Doer in Manitoba balanced his budget with the largest equalization payments in Canada (per capita)

    Where will Jack get the 25% of the revenue that NDP provincial government rely on?

    In Saskatchewan they were always a have-not province under NDP years and years of socialism and now one of the solidest have provinces under Conservative Brad Wall.

  62. One more thing, it is a joke to say any intelligent fiscal conservatives will vote automatically Conservative. What gives them any right to be the recipient of those votes when they have run the largest deficit in Canadian History and added 100 billion+ to the debt? They arent better than any other party at financial management. Their platform is in some ways closer to "yogic flying" away the national debt like the Natural Law Party than actually taking concrete steps (tax increases rather than cuts, not building huge prisons etc.)

  63. @ BC Voice of Reason

    "Jack Layton just said "when I am Prime Minister""

    He's been saying that for days now. Did you not just see the recent Leadership Index?

    It appears that more Canadians now view Layton as being acceptable for PM than Harper. We truly are down the rabbit hole.

  64. All the Liberals need to do, is do nothing - why would they merge or make a coalition with Layton as PM - they have nothing to gain.

    They should be cheering for an NDP minority government. They can sit back and do nothing. The NDP will run huge deficits, be unable to fulfill any of these promises they are making. Maybe even a scandal in there like Layton and Chow getting welfare checks even though they make $100,000's. The people who voted for them will realize, we have higher taxes and none of these promises. The Liberals can then emerge next election with a strong leader and say "you don't need a leftist party, you need a fiscally conscious progressive party".

    Even if the Cons win a minority, the Liberals are better of just doing nothing - don't prop up the Cons, just vote how you want. Let the NDP prop up the Cons as official opposition and then next debate, Lib Leader "X" can call Layton, "Harper's best friend".

    This is actually ideal for the Libs to regroup and strengthen their position as the only party able to balance the budget and be socially conscious. I would love to see Layton as PM.

  65. DL, I',m sure the Conservatives will be happy to have the 20% of the Liberal vote that is fiscally Conservative and anathema to an NDP government. if you take 20% away from the 22% the Liberal have now, they go down to 18%. That's rump territory. Several pundits have said they are looking to see if ANY poll puts the Liberals in the teens in the next couple of days. And driving the fiscal conservatives tho the Conservatives is what that would take.

  66. @ Anon 12:15

    "However just alone the reaction of the international markets and the TSX to news of an NDP government would cripple Canada."

    Actually, PIMCO, the world's largest bond investment firm, just stated that the outcome of the Canadian election, even with the NDP surge, would have virtually no impact on the market for Canadian bonds.

  67. "However just alone the reaction of the international markets and the TSX to news of an NDP government would cripple Canada."

    Probably the silliest thing this Anon has said yet. The dollar changes only with respect to the price of oil, and the TSX will eat a small loss when the corporate tax rate goes up. Doom prophesies don't help your cause, Anon.

    Oh wait, actually I found a better contender for dumbest statement:

    "How is capping interest rates on credit cards going to help?"

    By eliminating usurious interest rates which pile on Canadians' debts? How could making it easier to pay off your debt NOT help Canadians?

  68. Anonymous said...

    My god. Laurier-Sainte-Marie is in play? Really? I want to believe!


    I do as well, and will definitely be voting NDP this time; as well as trying to convince all non-Bloc voters in the riding to do it as well.

    But it may be a bit much to hope for since this is a riding of a leader of a party. That said, anything is possible. I'm ok with the NDP getting more seats in Quebec as long as it means the Bloc are reduced to minimal levels.

    If Harper gets a minority and the Libs don't want to prop up Jack right away, then I actually hope that Harper pushes through the 'no more $2' bill for the parties. It will effectively wipe out the Bloc; which is always a good thing. After that, Harper can be tossed.

    As per the larger picture:

    The Liberals have been the party that ruled Canada for the longest time specifically because they set up the big tent and were able to be a centralist party with support from the left and the right. The only way they managed to keep it going was with solid leadership (including charisma) to ensure the left and the right didn't try to kill each other. That all started falling apart when Paul pushed Jean out before he could retire properly. After that, there's been a massive schism that has seen people from both sides leave to the extremes and there's been a sheer lack of leadership.

    So now we're seeing Jack move to the center and Harper hang out in the far right. Both are soaking in Liberals and it's just a matter of time before we fall to two parties at the extremes fighting. That will be a sad day in Canadian history as we will no longer have the ability to find a government with people from all sides.

  69. @BC Voice of Reason

    I don't think Nanos has corrected anything - not in any way we can accurately estimate the impact of without comparing final results.

    And that is the point I was making - you can't assume the bias in their numbers from the last election will hold true for this one. Assuming they will have the same statistical bias is just silly. You mention the increasing difficulties of getting a representative sample, and you're right about those. And those difficulties have increased quite a bit since October 2008. That right there is enough to say that it's unlikely we'll see the same statistical bias this time, even if the methodology they use has remained the exact same.

    Truth is that Nanos will have almost certainly tweaked their methodology to account for increased difficulties, and to try and correct the bias their results had in 2008. You say "Their success is not based on the accuracy of their polls" - I disagree. Election polling (and really any polling on public opinion topic) is a loss leader for every one of the big pollsters. Every one of them. Their bread and butter is asking people about the brand of bread and butter they buy. They will measure success by how much commercial business they can gain by boosting their reputation for accuracy via the election polling.

  70. @Anonymous 12:15

    You are repeating discredited false rumors about Jack Layton.

    He didn't live in public housing, he lived in a cooperative, something that is right in line with his ideology, because the renters are the owners of the building and people pay according to their ability. His presence basically subsidized the rents from other people living in the same building but with low incomes. Nothing forbids cooperative housing from having rich people in them, in fact that's the very idea of cooperative housing that should provide housing for both rich and poor in a shared building. Coops do have subsidies to get started, and Layton reimbursed his part of it, which was unique for coops as no one else ever had to do so.

    Second, Jack Layton never got around waiting list for health care. He was referred to a private-for-profit hospital by his family doctor, yes, but this hospital had been grandfathered into the Medicare system in 1975 and it takes everyone, not just the elite, and it charges Ontario's Medicare system. In other words, for users, it's just an hospital like any other that is part of Ontario's public health care system (as in "paid by the public" since many clinics are private-owned).

    As to the promises, I do think it will be hard to keep all of them, but I think the NDP basically gave promises and intentions in its platform. Meaning, they are saying that all of this is what they will do if they can, but circumstances can change and some promises may not be acted on for pragmatic reasons. You can criticize that, but I like the fact that I know what the NDP wants to do, unlike the Conservatives who are basically asking for a blank check from people with a vague platform.

  71. Bonjour Éric
    Je veux faire une critique constructive.Ton
    modèle est muni d'un accélérateur et d'un frein.On dirait que le conducteur appuie sur
    les deux en même temps,ce qui nous donne
    l'impression de regarder presque seulement dans
    le rétroviseur. C'est sur que je caricature un
    peu,mais au fond il suffirait que tu réduises le
    poids des sondages anciens et que tu augmentes
    le poids des récents.Qu'est-ce qui t'empêche
    de faire ce genre de correction ?

    Ton travail fait progresser la démocracie.Bravo

  72. I don't get it... if it says at the top that the bloc have 7.5 and the green party has 6 ...why does the bloc get 43 seats and the green party none?

  73. Eric, it seems like your blog has finally started attracting enough attention that the CPC's paid commenters/ditto-heads are being tasked to spam the comments! Congrats! (I guess)

  74. Ooooh, the Masters of the Universe shall have their wrath on the people of Canada if they dare elect an NDP government! Be afraid! Be very afraid! If this is true, then there is no democracy at all anywhere.

  75. So I always like to compare polls to previous polls from the same company, which is why the Forum poll and the Angus Reid poll didn't faze me that much as they showed the conservatives down by 1 and 2 points, nothing and when you take out Quebec less than nothing.

    So today's Ekos is out. It shows the Conservatives out performing all their polls except week 1. Quebec is the only movement of interest. Yes the NDP are very high there, but they have crested. The Conservatives may even be back up to their week 1 support from EKOS in another couple of days.

    Again, this is just a comparison of Ekos polls to Ekos polls.

  76. btw Where the heck are Leger, Harris Decima and Ipos? Are they sitting out the polling contest of the century?

  77. Hello,
    Your projection for the riding of Lac Saint-Louis in Quebec seems to be quite inconsistent with the Léger poll released yesterday (, I just thought I'd let you know! Great work on the site though.

  78. I have a feeling that the possibility of PM Layton hedges on whether the LPC and NDP have a majority of the seats or if Layton can actually exceed Harper's votes. (Not impossible, but not yet in evidence) The latter would probably guarantee the former.

    The Liberals would be changing leaders, and probably would want to avoid anything more than a basic agreement or just support in exchange for compromises. There will be few policy differences between them to it'll be hard to make a case that they argued for and got anything specific; but not taking out Harper and staying out of any kind of power as well would be anathema to most Liberals.

    While they could actually prop up Harper in exchange for something... it's really hard to see that being a good idea either. They'd bleed voters to the NDP furiously, and I get the feeling that the hatred between the CPC and LPC has become mutual at this point. That's certainly been the public face.

    It's hard to imagine Harper trying to compromise with somebody. He and his party despise the Liberals, the NDP, and I don't think there's enough cognitive dissonance in the world to make the CPC and Bloc ally with each other now.

    The simple fact is that the political difficulties facing the Liberals are the same either way as the third party. (Unless the newbie NDP embarass themselves and the LPC benefit from the disaffected centre left with a new leader) So that calculation seems to favour backing the NDP.

  79. In 2008 in Ontario
    Cpc 39.18 Liberal 33.79 NDP 18.21
    Using the EKOS Oct 28 poll in Ontario
    CPC 39.9 Liberal 28.4 Ndp 22.8

    So according to EKOS (not a CPC biased pollster) CPC up .7 Liberal down 5.4 NDP up 4.6

    Close seats in 2008
    Liberal won CpC close second – 19
    Liberal won NDP close second -3
    CPC won NDP close second -1

    NDP pick up all their close seconds 4 seats
    Cons pick up 15 out of the 19 close liberal seats and lose 1 to the NDP net gain 14
    Liberals are down 18 seats.

  80. @Anonymous (12:55)

    "I don't get it... if it says at the top that the bloc have 7.5 and the green party has 6 ...why does the bloc get 43 seats and the green party none?"

    Those are national numbers, that is why. It doesn't account for ridings where a party doesn't have a candidate. The Bloc's national support of 7.5% is all in Quebec, and becomes about 27% when you only look at voters in Quebec.

    The Green party however, is running candidates in almost every riding (305 or 306, I think) and does not benefit from a regional concentration of support like the Bloc does.

  81. @Anonymous (13:36)

    They've all been releasing polls, just not as often as some of the others. Leger and Ipsos seem to have no set schedule that I can tell, while Harris Decima has been weekly so far.

  82. Good argument BT that Nanos might be just as off the other way.

    I would suggest that his long term polling methodology results in a anti-CPC bias compared to other pollsters as compiled by Eric here at 308.

    Nanos polls the CPC at 1.5 pts less than the average, over states Liberal by 2.5 and the NDP by .5 ---- all compared to averages of all polls.

    Right now in this election and this site the polling data is being dominated by 1) EKOS, 2) Nanos

    anti-cpc bias of 1.2, 1.5 respectively

    This would be countered by Ipsos Reid doing polls of every day instead of 1000 once a week

    If the polling frequency of nanos/ekos were to be replace with IR polling daily the averages would have Eric projecting a CPC majority.

  83. I know this is old news but...

    Wow. It's amazing to think that Hull-Aylmer could go orange. 100 years of voting Liberal gone. I'd always thought of this as the safest Liberal riding in the country.

    Interesting times.

  84. @BC Voice of Reason:

    "Nanos polls the CPC at 1.5 pts less than the average, over states Liberal by 2.5 and the NDP by .5 ---- all compared to averages of all polls."

    Where are you getting this information from? If Nanos was constantly off by 1.5 points he'd have adjusted his questions.

    Just settle down a bit, you're hyperventilating. The polls are the same as they ever were, all throughout the last few weeks (and years). Just because they're showing an answer that you don't approve of doesn't mean you need to start besmirching the pollsters. Certainly accusing them of internal bias is way out of line.

  85. Trois-Rivières Riding Poll
    NDP 42
    BQ 28
    CPC 17
    LPC 8
    Green 5
    Rhino 2

  86. noob goldberg its well established that polling firms "lean" (a less loaded word than bias) towards some parties.

    This may have to do with the question, how responses are weighted, whether its automated or live responses, etc etc

    In 2008 the CPC was underestimated. Some polling firms were worse than others in this regard.

    BCVOR pointing this out isn't "way out of line" or "hyperventilating".

    Its a welcome note of caution.

    Remember the only poll that matters hasn't been taken yet.

  87. @Robert: Commes les autres, j'ai la même impression. Mais n'est-il pas difficile de changer un modèle établi si le but du modèle est d'abord de "mécaniser" ces prédictions et d'en enlever le biais. Plus qu'on change le modèle afin qu'il corresponde mieux aux résultats attendus, plus qu'on n'a pas de modèle, mais des opinions fondées, non?

    Mais j'aimerais voir un pourcentage plus haut pour le NPD!

  88. @AverageCanuck:

    Of course one can only compare a polling firm against itself; my point is that the "biases" have not changed throughout this election and are pretty much incorporated into everyone's models by now. Which is why we aggregate responses instead of picking and choosing individual firms.

    I hope you can agree that arbitrarily adding the error from the 2008 election just to make one party appear to be doing better than it currently is would be silly, and waters down the entire purpose of this site.

  89. @noob goldberg

    You can compare a polling firm any number of ways to get at what 538 calls its "house effects" (if they have any).

    You can compare how much it deviates from the average result of all other pollsters over an extended period of time. (Eric was actually doing this at one point)

    You can see if its systematically getting races wrong one way or another as opposed to just random error.

    Regardless, weighted aggregation doesn't automatically solve any of these problems because its difficult to determine what mix of house effects are at play.

    8 wrong pollsters and 2 right ones when mixed together doesn't get you closer to reality.

    "It all evens out" only works when you have a diverse and large field of pollsters. Predictions are a bit of a gamble.

    I think what BCVOR was doing is just showing how these pollsters could be wrong. They were wrong in '08, could be wrong now.

    It would be silly and premature to write off a CPC majority at the moment.

  90. BC Voice of Reason - I live in BC, and I don't vote for the BC Liberals even though I'd rather not be governed by the BC NDP.

    A choice between a Keynesian and a Marxist is no choice at all.

  91. @AverageCanuck,

    I appreciate your points, but I'll reiterate that even if weighted aggregation doesn't fully address biased polling, we should be both able to agree that simply picking one single instance from the 2008 election and make believing that it represents some inherent bias or variance is bad statistics.

    Perhaps the polling field is not broad enough to aggregate, but it's a million times better than plucking one result and assuming that it magically represents the perceived bias, especially when a pollster was almost dead on merely two years prior. For BCVoR to have an argument, he or she would have had to show that Nanos/Ekos et al's results had been continuously off for a lengthy period of time.


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